Jags Rally Past Cajuns, 9-6
South Alabama is nationally ranked, has a top 20 RPI and leads the Sun Belt Conference.
Saturday night, Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns found out why.
The Jaguars roared back from an early six run deficit and Anthony Izzo pitched seven innings of scoreless relief as South Alabama defeated Louisiana 9-6 before 2,821 at M. L. "Tigue" Moore Field.
Nolan Earley's three run home off Cajuns' starter Austin Robichaux capped a four run sixth inning to get the Jags within a run, and Dustin Dalken's two run homer to the opposite field off reliever Ryan Wilson (3-4) highlighted a four run eighth which put the game away.
Izzio (1-0) meanwhile, was superb out of the bullpen, allowing only five base runners after coming in with two out in the second inning and his team already down 6-0. The righthander, who was South Alabama's Friday night starter on the opening weekend of the season, threw 79 pitches and allowed only two runners to get into scoring position.
The Cajuns (34-16, 15-10 Sun Belt) got to USA starter Jarron Cito in the second inning when Blake Trahan led off with a walk and stole second. Dylan Butler then singled home Trahan to get the Cajuns on the board and went to second on the throw home. Three batters later, Dex Kjerstad delivered Butler with a two out single and stole second. Ryan Leonards then hit a sharp grounder which was booted by Jags' shortstop Graham Odom, allowing Kjerstad to score. Leonards stole second and came home on Seth Harrison's RBI single, and after Tyler Girouard walked, Cito's wild pitch moved the runners to second and third. Caleb Adams then laced a two run single to right to make it 6-0.
Robichaux cruised through the first four innings, allowing just two hits. But South Alabama (18-13, 18-7) got on the board in the fifth on Nolan Earley's double and an RBI single by Dalken. Robichaux got the first two outs in the sixth, but Bud Collura singled, Jordan Patterson walked and Nick Zaharion singled to make the score 6-2 before Earley delivered his second homer of the year, a three run shot to right center to cut the Cajuns' lead to 6-5 and end Robichaux's night.
Wilson kept the Jaguars scoreless until the eighth, when Zaharion singled and came home on Dalken's seventh homer of the season, over the wall in left field to give the Jags the lead for good. Whitt Dorsey was hit by a pitch, which ended Wilson's night. Reliever Matt Hicks walked Robby Campbell and a passed ball moved the runners to second and third. Blake Trahan threw out Odom after holding the runners, but Jeff DeBlieux singled to plate both runners for the final score.
Izzio allowed a two out single by Harrison in the fourth, a leadoff hit by Girouard in the fifth, and a two out double by Jace Conrad in the sixth. Leonards singled to lead off the seventh and was sacrified by Harrison. But Izzio got Girouard on a grounder to second and Adams on a grounder to short to end the threat.
After Izzio walked Leonards with two out in the ninth, reliever Dylan Stamey struck out Harrison to end the game and record his fourth save of the season.
The two teams will play a Mothers' Day doubleheader tomorrow afternoon at 1pm